teens are getting a hands on introduction into the world of dentistry including
what it takes to get into the career field. New England
teens are gaining experience with the skills and requirements expected to enter
and succeed in dental school.
Historically, New England
has been short on dental professionals, and with the median age of dentists
being over 55, many more will be needed over the next decade. As a gateway for
students to learn and enter the field, the University of New England
has offered the Dental Careers Exploration Camp. This free camp is a 3 day
experience meant to provide students with information and experience with dental
At the camp, students have the opportunity to drill and fill
molars on simulated patients, take x-rays, make teeth impressions, and even
practice stitching gum tissue (using chicken breasts). In addition to hands on
learning, students gain are provided advice on important skills, necessary
education, and having the right attitude.
It is the hope of New England
University that the camp will help
draw students into the recently opened school of Dental Medicine
(opened Fall 2013). The inaugural class at the school consisted of 64 students,
a third of which were from Maine.
However, it is anticipated that when the program is fully populated that it
could attend to nearly 40,000 patient visits annually.